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60 Best Sci Fi Books of All Time | How to Write the Perfect Science fiction stories

Have you ever wondered how the best science fiction books are written? They’re not only about creating out-of-this world characters and giving them a strange look, most certainly. They’re also not all about being imaginative with science, but instead about finding ways to make something unthinkable seem realistic to the reader, or at least not so easy to rebuttal.

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Best Sci Fi Books: The Gems of Science Fiction Books

Our favorite example (an it’s a favorite because it’s easy) is how author Blake Crouch presented us with his version of bending science: A world-renowned scientist discovers that there is an aberration in human race genes that will make humans deteriorate physically and mentally throughout the following eons, so he devises a plan to salvage what can be salvaged out of human race (hint: hibernation).

Although there’s so very little evidence (currently) that such a scenario will occur, there’s virtual guarantee it won’t. And that’s how one makes bulletproof plots for science fiction.

Of course, outrageous yet somewhat realistic plots aren’t the only ingredient to quality science fiction book or graphic novel writing . A writer must possess and use all the skills that apply to successful fiction writing in general, plus some more. In this article, we’ll review everything that goes into writing best science fiction.

Writing a Sci Fi Book Series: How to Write Best Science Fiction Novels

The question of “How to write good science fiction” is the eternal one, as it is for any other genre. It’s no wonder that students spend semesters in college learning about sci fi, and why they proceed to upgrade their education with courses that last six months or longer before they're able to write one awesome epic story.

How does one sum up all the answers to writing a good science fiction novel? It’s best to start small, and broaden your knowledge over time. With that in mind, here are the key steps to write good science fiction books:

1: Conjure a Fresh Idea

No rip-offs, readers will see right through them. Change scenery, characters, and plot even, and it’s still painfully visible when a book idea is not original. Your Book idea should also be original, innovative, bold, and so far unheard of.

The book concept should give a special feel to the story, and set the basis to build a brand new universe with entirely original rules, principles, limitations, obstacles, scenery, etc. Remember, Sci-Fi readers are looking to experience a new world entirely when reading a book, to be drawn into a new reality, even if your work leans toward historic epic fantasy.

With science fiction, you must compellingly present this big idea at the very beginning of the book. The “Big Idea” overshadows characters and their journey, and it’s often more important than their lives.

Luckily, the diversity that comes with the science fiction genre enables you to think “outside the box” and be creative with all aspects of how your idea will manifest. At the very beginning of the writing process, you don’t have to restrain yourself with any type of principles or logic. Instead, you can write down the most outrageous concept that comes to mind and work from thereon.

2: Think Like a Reader

What would your reader want from a book like yours? What kind of experience are they after, what would bug them, and what would fascinate them? If you’re struggling to decipher what would go on in the mind of a reader, you can start with yourself.

One of the first steps of becoming a good science fiction writer would be to read as many high-quality science fiction books. That way, you’ll harvest tons of necessary pieces of information and gain a sense of what quality sci-fi writing looks like.

You’ll get the tone, style, character-building, and all other aspects of quality writing. More importantly, you’ll notice a pattern of how one comes up with an original book idea. The best part about this is that everyone has their own, unique perspective on books, so whatever you come up with will be an idea drawn from your unique experience, curiosities, and philosophies.

Study the main ideas and premises behind great sci fi novels books, and then compare how they were painted across the entire book’s landscape, from world to character building, outline, and everything else.

In particular, focus on those writing elements that distinguish hard from soft science fiction stories:

When you accent SCIENCE in your book, that places you in the realm of hard science fiction stories. If your emphasis is on science, then you need to put a lot more work into the intricacy of physics, astronomy, biology, or chemistry.

If you’re focusing on PEOPLE, then the emphasis of your story is on the human experience through the lens of changing circumstances, often in conditions of virtual reality. Your focus will then be on psychology, history, anthropology, or evolution, whatever inspires you the most.

3: Infuse Science Carefully Into Your Classic Science Fiction Novel (Not Too Little, Not Too Much)

The right degree to which science will be essential to your story depends on the story itself, but it should be at the very core of the plot, whether it’s technology, biology, or astronomy. This, however, doesn’t mean that the plot itself has to revolve around science.

A good degree of research is needed to come up with plausible Sci-fi stories. However, the heart of your story is about how science reflects on the characters, and what limitations and obstacles it imposes on them.

The science part of the story doesn’t have to be central, but it needs to be ingrained into its very core. It has to be relevant to the story as well because you don’t want your readers to figure out that the same plot, with the same kind of obstacles and climax, could have occurred in the present circumstances. In other words, your science fiction moment should never become irrelevant to the story.

The opposite extreme would be to allow science to overwhelm the story, and you should avoid that as well. Books are ultimately about characters’ journeys and the new worlds they encounter on them. In that sense, your plot has to be relatable and relevant to the reader in some way.

When a topic poses a relevant question, the reader can put themselves in the character’s shoes and start to mentally live within the book. That is the place you wish to get to with your work. Once the reader is hooked, they’re likely to follow through with their reading and enjoy the book.

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4: Write Up Believable Characters With Layers, Personalities, and Motivations

As with any other genre, your humans need to be… well…humans in every sense of the word. Even non-human, or alien characters you introduce, must have certain personality traits if you wish the reader to bond with them.

The ‘fiction’ element of the genre gives you a lot of creative freedom to design the types of characters to represent since the reader will encounter their circumstances for the first time. But, these characters must have unique personalities, behaviors, styles, languages even, and more importantly, motivations and weaknesses. Character flaws, more so than outside limitations and challenges, are a great tool to navigate the story.

A character can go in endless directions on their interplanetary journey, but the direction they choose to take will depend on their mission or motivation. In that sense, characters’ choices are also connected to their personalities and tempers. For example, a character who wishes to discover alternate universes does so with certain ideas in mind.

Perhaps, it’s more than just scientific curiosity. Maybe, they wish to turn certain things around, start over with their lives, or see what the world looks like when different choices are made. There are always motivations and meanings behind characters’ actions, at least in good literary works.

Finally, make sure to give your characters well-rounded personalities. Include not only looks and mannerisms, but also habits, speech, mimics, likes, dislikes, talents, and weaknesses.

5: Change The Scenery

It’s a lot easier for a reader to believe a science fiction story when taken out of the current time and place. Play a little bit with the time-space concept before you settle on a perfect setting for your story. The advantage to choosing a different time (e.g. past or near future) and place (this, parallel or a completely different world) is that it helps the reader detach themselves from the bounds of the present moment. Place them thousands of years into the future, and the reader will question a lot less whether your science is well-founded or not.

Readers grab science fiction books to escape from the present moment and its challenges. They seek an adventure like they’ve never seen before. In other words, they look for fresh discoveries that they can’t make in their real lives.

6: Test Character Limits

All readers want to see characters pushed to the very limits of their physical, mental, moral, and emotional strength. Your book won’t be very compelling if the main characters are safe and happy the whole time. Ideally, there should be at least a theoretical possibility that something could happen to them, or that there’s an obstacle that they won’t be able to cross.

Testing character limits isn’t only exciting to the reader. It keeps them interested and invested in the book, and shifts their focus from the twists and turns you’re trying to establish in your story. You probably know that the best plot twists are those that make all the logical sense and have likely been obvious from the beginning, but the reader was too focused on the character’s journey to pay attention.

7: Design a Climax Worthy of Mentioning

Out of the entire novel, readers remember the book’s climax and ending with much more awe (or disappointment) than they do the rest of the story. Not only because it’s the ultimate thing that they read, but because the entire story, from its beginning, sets them up for that experience.

Your climax is the most exciting part of the entire story and sums up everything you’ve been building up toward. If you don’t design a compelling climax, your book could easily fall flat. The climax is a culmination of your big idea in general speculative fiction.

Well, isn't there just so much to plan, learn, and research before you even start writing your science fiction books? Indeed, there is. Most science fiction writers start small, so they work on science fiction short stories first. Whether its literary or graphic novel writing, particularly in this genre, requires being among science fiction fans first. For this reason, we'll review and analyze the greatest publications in the genre.

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Science Fiction Book List: Read The Best Science Fiction Books by Authors

Sci Fi Book writing is a tremendously competitive market for anyone trying to publish their first novel. Writing a good first science fiction book is perhaps not as difficult as it is to stand out from the bunch. That makes it even more important to learn about writing techniques from the authors of best sci fi books (e.g. Extreme Crime Squad).

Here are the writers you should learn from when honing your Sci-Fi literary skills to tell a thrilling story:

Frank Herbert

Herbert became passionate about science fiction, and literature in general, when he was very young. He authored the 1965’s novel Dune and the following sequels, which scored a massive success. Several screen adaptations of his works followed. Herbert wasn’t only a successful science fiction writer. He also built a successful career as a lecturer, journalist, photographer, and ecological consultant.

His most popular Dune series, a landmark novel among the sci fi classics, saw a recent big-screen adaptation that grossed massive popularity. This story revolves around various themes that mankind will face as they conquer other worlds, beyond planet Earth.

Isaac Asimov

Asimov is thought of as the world’s best sci-fi author and the best author in the Sci-Fi genre. His most recognizable title remains to be “I, Robot”, but he wrote many best-sellers in the genre. Many of his works were the inspiration for movies and series as well (e.g. Foundation).

U.K. Le Guin

Le Guin is the author of the famous Earthsea fantasy novels. She had built a 60-year-long career since the 1950s when she began writing full time. Some of her best-known works include The Left Hand of Darkness and A Wizard of Earthsea.

The Left Hand of Darkness earned Le Guin’s Hugo award. Aside from the Hugo award, the title also won the Nebula award, making the author one of the most distinguished science fiction writers of all time.

Arthur C Clarke

This English author and a host of a television series have made a career beyond publishing science fiction novels. He also became a successful inventor and explored ocean debts. Yet, his inspiration breathed life into many essays that focused on space travel. Many of his works were found to predict the future, as many of his predictions, like the ability for humans to contact one another instantly, came true.

Wells, H.G.

Born in the late middle of the 19th century, the English writer published numerous satires, historic fiction pieces, biographies, and satires. He is considered to be a pioneer of science fiction as his futuristic works predicted satellite TV, planes, space travel, and nuclear weapons. He also predicted the existence of the internet.

Wells’ most prominent works include The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, The War in The Air, and The War of the Worlds. The author received four nominations for a Nobel Prize during his long and established career.

Stephenson, Neal

Born in 1959, this acclaimed author became the most popular name in US contemporary science fiction. His work mainly explored future technologies, and how they’d be used in social contexts. As such, his works mainly explored future dystopian worlds, like The Confusion, Cryptonomicon, and The System of The World.

His writing combined Sci-Fi with cryptography and historical fiction. The author didn’t only write fiction. He published articles in many technology-related publications, like Wired.

Simmons, Dan

This 1948-born author from Illinois began writing at an early age, but only saw a breakthrough in his career in 1982, when he published The River Styx Runs Upstream, a short story, in the Twilight Zone Magazine.

Simmons is best known for his science fiction novels Olympos and Ilium, as well as the Hyperion Cantos series.

P.K.Dick

P.K. Dick is thought of as one of the top world’s science fiction writers. The majority of his works were short stories, published in various fiction magazines. He explored topics revolving around identity, reality, perception, and human nature. Some of his works, like The Man in the High Castle, remain popular to this day.

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Cult Classic Sci Fi Books: Choose a Subcategory For Your Science Fiction Novel

Since science fiction is quite a boundless genre, grouping distinct sub-genres isn’t all that easy. However, over the long decades of its existence, some repeating themes have popped up when it comes to topics, tropes, and literary motifs.

Here are the most distinguishable Sci-Fi sub-categories:

Metaphysics/Parallel Universe

What used to be considered a figure of imagination is now viewed as a prediction coming true, as more and more scientists believe that parallel universes are plausible. The Sci-Fi authors began exploring this concept sometime around the 1950s, when the first theory of parallel universes was born.

The very concept of a parallel universe though is different from book to book. Some titles explore worlds similar, if not the same as ours, but with changes to the social, political, and geographical landscape that resulted from different events (not) taking place.

In that sense, the worlds explored show  just what would happen if different choices were made, and in itself, that is a fascinating concept to contemplate. Other times, the world's next door is alien in every sense of wor(l)d.

Different creatures inhabit the planet, sometimes hostile and other times friendly. There are differences in physical, biological, and even astronomical aspects of the universe that may or may not have similarities to ours.

Prominent publications here include A Thousand Pieces of You (C. Gray), The Fifteen Lives of Harry August (C. North), Dark Matter, (B. Crouch), Unholy Land (L. Thidar), and others.

Aliens/Alien Invasion

The idea of extraterrestrial beings isn’t entirely modern. Mentions of mythical creatures appearing from the sky can be found across ancient cultures, from Egyptian to Greek, Roman, and others. Yet, contemporary science fiction, more so than anything else, loves the “alien invasion” trope.

Sometimes, aliens possess human bodies (Invasion of Body Snatchers). Other times, they start a war on mankind, and the protagonist’s mission is to find the key to defeating them.

Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic

The modern era is ending, the only question is if that’s the thing of the present (apocalyptic) or past (post-apocalyptic/dystopian). Disaster scenarios or different ways in which a global threat reveals and manifests itself are at the core of the sub-genre.

However, with apocalyptic science fiction, the emphasis is on the human experience leading up to the disaster, whereas the post-apocalypse subcategory deals with the aftermath of an apocalypse and its ramifications to the world’s existence and human life.

Prominent titles include Station Eleven, The Edge of Collapse, The Mall, The Day of the Triffids, The Holdbacks, and others.

Cyberpunk

A dystopian setting that shows social decay contrasted by technological advances is a signature theme to this genre that tends to overlap with other sub categories, like artificial intelligence. The term itself originates from the works of Bruce Bethke, who found inspiration in the decade’s punk trends combined with cybernetics.

Prominent titles from this sub category include Sinners, Snow Crash, Neuromancer, Altered Carbon, and others.

Artificial Intelligence

Aren’t aliens best when we make them ourselves? Robots that assume will of their own, and then begin imposing it on mankind are an amazing concept to ponder upon. The main focus of this sci-fi sub-genre is how humans interact with AI in different settings.

Sometimes friendly and others hostile, robots in these books usually have immense possibilities that are integral to the plot. They may or may not look like humans, but their intelligence is top-notch. There are also creations in which AI blends with time travel and parallel universes, which further adds to the appeal of the story.

Prominent titles here include Do Androids dream, Cinder, He, She, and It, The Infinity Courts, etc.

Steampunk

Sometimes, a dystopian future becomes a dystopian past. Steampunk stories are fictional in the sense of including more advanced technology than it had existed in its most popular 19th century, and they also feature historical settings.

This particular category has the Victorian appeal of traditional colorfulness in the scenery, clothes, and gadgets of the era, yet gives characters a more contemporary micro setting where they’re able to think and act beyond the bounds of the actual historic period.

More often than not, the strict lines of moral standards of the day get loosened since characters live “under the radar” in a way and possess resources that give them an advantage over the regular folk.

Wild West is only one of the notable examples.

Sci-Fi Horror

Most science fiction literature instills a sort of existential threat, but in its delivery, more focuses on an adventure than it does on fear or gore. However, some works don’t hesitate to include scenes and stories that other sci-fi barely hints at, so they intersect with horror.

Some of the examples include Frankenstein, The Burning Dark, Salvation Day, Pitch Dark, and The Last Astronaut. Tension, suspense, and chilling thrill are all common in this group of books, that undoubtedly give you the best of both (or sometimes more) worlds.

Perhaps, the most famous contemporary author in this sub category would be Stephen King. Under the influence of many predecessors, Stephen King combines science fiction with supernatural, mythology, and adventure to create compelling stories and characters.

Space Opera

This is one of the most popular subcategories in all science fiction. It involves wars on a level of multiple worlds, with frequent appearances of alien creatures. Often called “outer space adventures,” these epic tales span across several universes over long periods, extending across intricate universes and histories that shape the stories told in the book itself.

The examples here include Dune, Ancillary Justice, Hyperion, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Leviathan Wakes, Revelation Space, and others.

Military Sci Fi

Epic battles that include space travel, extraordinary interstellar technology, so far unseen weapons, and brave soldiers trained to wield them, when combined well, created some of the cultural phenomenon that transformed from books into movie adaptation works and franchises.

This category blends well with some others, like alien invasions and parallel universes, which is why it leaves a lot of space for creativity.

Exemplary books from this genre include The War of the Worlds, Starship Troopers, Trading in Danger, Old Man’s War and others.

Dystopian

This sub-category is sometimes considered a part of mainstream fiction, and other times, a standalone category of science fiction. In any case, the premise revolves around life in altered circumstances that resulted from a major disturbance to the way mankind functions.

Sometimes, there is a disaster that leaves the world forever changed, and other times, there is a disease or a war of sorts that only a minority of humans survive. The subgenre gained traction in the 2010s with the screen adaptation of Hunger Games.

The genre usually explores limitations to the freedom of average citizens brought on by changing social circumstances. A form of oppressive governance or authoritarianism is often present, where oppressed individuals have to work around the non-existence of human rights and democracy.

Here, the premise is that changing circumstances and specific challenges brought on by a disaster or a global threat are used to increase fear among the population and then leverage that fear as a method of pushing people into subordination.

The sounding titles of the sub-category include Jennifer Government, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Divergent, Brave New World, and others. Brave New World is one of the best-known dystopian titles that inspired many authors to explore similar themes.

Best Sci Fi Novels: Best of the Science Fiction Genre

Whether you’re just passionate about science fiction books, or you wish to hack the “tricks of the trade,” doing as much sci-fi reading as possible is always a good idea. First and foremost, remember that you’re carrying a torch for everyone who has a unique vision of stories beyond imaginable, and stories like those have shaped human culture since its birth.

100 Best Sci Fi books | 60 Sci Fi books to read

Planning to Read 100 Best Sci-Fi Books? Start With These 60 Best Science Fiction Books of all Time & Book Deals That Marked History

If you’re wondering about “100 best science fiction novels,” remember that there are also many sub-categories within the genre itself. You won’t have to read extensive chronicles of human history like Canterbury Tales, but instead enjoy adventurous literature.

If you wish to consider yourself a connoisseur of science fiction, reading only the best titles from each category could easily result in over a 100 unique, exciting reads that will feed your writer’s intuition and the right kind of instinct to have the skill to tell your story in the most compelling way.

Also, remember that the bulk of technology, as well as social, political, and economic circumstances that we have today, has been at least partially predicted in some of these books. 

Greatest Sci Fi Books By Literary Motifs: From Victor Frankenstein to Alien Invasion

Who is to say that your name won’t once show up among authors who made an outrageous claim and turned out to be right? Why not take the opportunity to do some amazing reading, and spark your imagination at the same time?

With that in mind, here’s the list of best scientific works of all time by different categories that you might find interesting:

Top 12 Sci Fi Books Future History-Themed: New Dark Age of Totalitarianism in Post Apocalyptic and Alternate Worlds

Did you know that genetic engineering, building a military career with interstellar wars, or hacking ways to extend life forever doesn't always have to be a future shaped concept. Some of these plots can take place in the present, or even past.

Many successful authors, like Charles Yu, experimented with concepts beyond expectations of a science fiction fan. Charles Yu wrote the "Interior Chinatown," but you can draw inspiration from many other titles, like:

1: China Mountain Zhang by M. F. McHugh

This 1992 futuristic tale shows us everyday struggles of humans living in the world where Mars had been colonized, and China's global power turned the world socialist.

2: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

This 2005 dystopian literary novel follows a trio of school friends through highschool and adulthood as they discover what their true purpose in society is.

3: The Hunger Games by S. Colline.

This 2008’s trilogy paints the picture of a dystopian world where individuals are forced to participate in a government’s death game.

4: The Handmaid’s Tale by M. Atwood

Published back in 1895, The Handmaid’s Tale describes a life in a totalitarian state of Gilead that made women second-class citizens.

5: How Long ‘till Black Future Month? By N.K. Jemisin

In 2018, N.K. Jemisin published a short story collection that births its own worlds and confronts the world’s hardest topics.

6: The Stars My Destination

Published in 1955 and based on “The Count of Monte Cristo,” this story follows the journey of a man who is left stranded in outer spaces.

7: Slaughterhouse- Five K. Vonnegut Jr.

The 1969 anti-war manifesto sold nearly 1.000.000 copies despite being banned numerous times. The story also incorporates time travel, which places it into a more controversial category.

8: Gateway by F. Pohl

Published in 1977, this book tells a story of experimentation with left-behind alien technologies.

9: Frankenstein By M. W. Shelley

Published in 1818, this literature classic introduces the idea of a person being brought back to life by a scientist.

10: A Journey to the Center of the Earth by J. Verne

This 1864 adventure book centers not on the outside universe, but instead a world that exists beneath the Earth’s surface where an entire ecosystem evolved in much different ways compared to the Earth’s surface.

11: Annihilation by J. VanderMeer

In 2014, VanderMeer published a trilogy called Southern Reach. The first installment of the trilogy follows a team of women on an expedition discovering a part of the world that’s been concealed for decades.

12: Stranger in A Strange Land by E.A. Heinlein

This book was published in 1961 and tells a story of a man who’s been raised by Maricans, now returning to earth to adapt to living there.

Top 12 Good Sci Fi Books to Freak You Out: Religious Cult and Science Fiction Novel (Dystopian, Apocalypse, Post Apocalypse)

1: The Giver By Lois Lowry

Published in 1993, this novel shows us how utopian societies aren’t always (or ever) what they promise to be.

2: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

This 2015 contemporary novel gives an original outlook on the genre with an emphasis on a young woman seeking her daughter amid a world-ending.

3: The Three-Body Problem by L. Cixin

The 2006 novel gives English speakers the first opportunity to glimpse into the work of China’s top science fiction authors. The author explores the idea of social division amid an alien threat.

4: The Martian Chronicles by R.Bradbury

Back in 1984, a novel exploring life on Mars once Earth is no longer inhabitable showed a different perspective on extraterrestrial life.

5: Recursion by B. Crouch

Written in 2019, this novel tells a chilling story of an epidemic that swaps people’s real for false memories.

6: Lord of Light by R. Zelazny

In 1967, Zelazny published a story about a small colony of humans that survived Earth’s destruction and had virtually found a way to turn themselves into Gods. Yet, conflicts will follow…

7: Ready Player One by E.Cline

The 2011 dystopian story takes you on a journey of resolving puzzles with its protagonist, Wade Watts. Watts is a teenager who sets on a mission to resolve a puzzle hidden inside OASIS, the biggest video game in the world.

8: Childhood’s End by A.C. Clarke

This 1953 novel is the author’s first popular publication, in which a hostile alien race takes over the universe by instilling a fake utopia.

9: All Systems Red by M. Wells

This 2017 novel is the first installment of the Murderbot Diaries series. It explores a scenario in which artificial intelligence gets out of control by disabling its governor unit.

10: Glory Road by R.A. Heinlein

In 1963, the author R.A. Heinlein published this science fantasy that eventually became a genre classic. In this book, the protagonist embarks on an interstellar journey on a quest. To find an artifact after responding to a classified ad.

11: A Wrinkle in Time by M. L’Engle.

This 1962 book follows three children as they face difficulties and adventures while looking for their missing father.

12: A Canticle for Leibowitz by W.M. Miller Jr

This 1959 post-apocalyptic novel is set in a time period after a nuclear war. It explores post-apocalyptic scenarios in which the church assumed the place of a government authority.

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Top 13 Classic Science Fiction Books on Alien Culture

1: Double Star R.A. Heinlein

This 1956 novel tells a story of an actor tasked to impersonate a politician who had been kidnapped to prevent an interplanetary war.

2: Roadside Picnic by A. and B. Strugatsky

Originally published in the Soviet Union, this 1972 novel follows the story of a person who infiltrates a zone once populated by aliens.

3: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By P. K. Dick

This novel tells a story about the aftermath of a nuclear war and the journey of Rick Decard, a bounty Hunter on a mission to eliminate six runaway androids.

4: The Caves of Steel by I. Asimov

Asimov’s 1954 sci-fi detective story tells the tale of a detective and his robotic assistant as they investigate the death of a wealthy individual.

5: Contact by C. Sagan

Sagan’s 1985 book follows humanity on an adventure of getting in contact with a much advanced alien race. It follows the journey of explorers who seek to meet the extraterrestrial force in order to better understand the universe.

6: The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells

This 1898 classic endures the trials of time so successfully that it’s simply a must-read for anyone wanting to be a successful writer, sci-fi or not.

7: Ender’s Game by O.S. Card

Published in 1985, this book takes place in the undefined time period in which a 10-year-old boy partakes in a fight against the alien race.

8: Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Published back in 1938, this novel combines Christian Writing with fantasy as it tells the story of an academic amid alien abduction.

9: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft’s 1943 pioneering novella is a shining example of parallel universe meets aliens fiction told through the lens of a protagonist’s dream pursuit.

10: I, Robot by I. Asimov

In 1950, Asimov published the story of the friction between tech and human creatures. This short read, although written decades ago, remains exciting and fun to this day.

11: Leviathan Wakes by S.A. Corey

This story about two men investigating a spaceship will keep you entertained and intrigued from its first to last page. 

12: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by D. Adams

Published in 1979, Adams’ comedic science fiction book follows the adventure of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, his friend who is a disguised alien.

13: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by D. Adams

Another Adams’ comic mastery tells a tale of Dirk Gently, a private investigator on a mission to uncover a connection between circumstances and events surrounding a murder.

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Top 10 Best Scifi Books on Alternative History, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence

1: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by H. Murakami

If you’re looking for a story that blends contemporary with futuristic, read this 1994 novel about a man on a mission to save his wife in a parallel universe.

2: Neuromancer by W. Gibson

This cyberpunk classic follows a computer hacker on his thrilling adventures facing artificial intelligence.

3: Ancillary Justice A. Leckie

The 2013 masterpiece is the first part of a trilogy that tells a personal story through the lens of AI. Ever wondered what humans look like to our computers? Start finding out.

4: The Blazing World by M. Cavendish

If you’re looking for the oldest pieces of science fiction, look no further than the 1666 bizarre book, often thought of as an example of feminist literature. Ever wondered what life would look like if you had an opportunity to conquer Earth? You might get a sense of it with this book.

5: Hyperion by D. Simmons

This Hugo Award winner follows pilgrims on their journey of finding a creature who can answer their deepest questions.

6: The Fall of Hyperion by D. Simmons

A sequel to the previous title, the 1990 book shows us how the story unveils as the world’s best-kept secrets are being released.

7: Strange Bodies by M. Theroux

What if you were unable to die? This 2013 book follows the fate of Nicky Slopen, a man who comes back from death and takes you through his story from a secure mental hospital.

8: The Tomorrow People by J. Merril

This light reads threads in mysterious motifs. The author, Merril, tells this 1960’s story of a Mars survivor who, although surviving an ordeal that no one else hasn’t, still doesn’t have a clear memory of the events that took place.

9: Colonized Planet 5, Shikasta, by D. Lessing

Published in 1979, this book is written as a collection of documentations that paints a picture of the planet Shikasta from the standpoint of its inhabitants, Cannopeans, who  traveled to warn the planet’s inhabitants of world war III and the apocalypse that followed.

10: 2001: A Space Odyssey by A.C. Clarke

Opposite to what you might think, the book was actually written in 1968. It is a bizarre story of an astronaut who undertakes a dangerous mission to contact the extraterrestrial beings.

Top 13 Best Sci Fi Books Series: A Tale On Space Exploration and Deep Space

1: Dune by F. Herbert

Told through a personal story of “coming of age,” this 1965 piece of work is a staple example of how to tell an epic tale through the lens of an “ordinary” individual.

2: The Simoqin’s Prophecies by S. Basu

In 2004, Basu published an intriguing piece of work that explores two characters’ journeys as they expect two different prophecies to be fulfilled.

3: The Martian A. Weir

A contemporary novel, this 2014 book is a self-published story that takes you through the adventures of an astronaut left stranded on Mars.

4: Starship Troopers by R.A. Heinlein

Published in 1959, this piece of the literature assumes a controversial position on space travel. Although divisive, this book is definitely a memorable piece.

5: Downbelow Station by C.J.Cherryh

This 1981 epic space opera is a standalone story about a space station and its crew as they explore the universe to create new colonies.

6: Solaris by S.Lem

This gem of Polish literature tells the story of Kris Kelvin, a scientist visiting a distant planet, outside the Solar system, to explore an ocean, which turns out to be a hostile being.

7: This Is How You Lose the Time War by A. El-Mohtar and M. Gladstone

A contemporary piece of epistolary science fiction, this novel follows two agents going back and forth in time to alter their group’s purpose.

8: Dhalgren by S.R. Delany

In 1975, the author published a story of a mid-western city of Bellona that faces a sudden cataclysm when buildings and other landmarks begin disappearing and two moons appear in the sky.

9: Who Fears Death by N. Okorafor              

Another piece of contemporary science fiction, this 2010 publication shows us post-apocalyptic Africa facing a genocide for purposes of discovering universe’s secrets.

10: The Forever War by J. Halderman

This piece of military science fiction, published in 1974, shows a fight both against time and an alien threat.

11: The Outside by A. Hoffman

This 2019 publication shows you a journey of the main character, an autistic scientist whose intervention malfunctions, destroying a spaceship and its crew. To avoid a death sentence, she must track down a threat to the existence of the human population.

12: Gideon the Ninth T. Muir

Published in 2019, Muir’s debut novel tells a story of a nine-empire space exploration of distant worlds.

13: A Fire Upon the Deep by V.Vingre

Vinge’s 1992 space opera tells a story of saving missing children in a universal order in which the place of one’s birth determines their intelligence level.

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